The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonanaya Onu, has assured that the present administration is taking steps to optimally develop the Science and Technology sector, particularly as it concerns the encouragement of local inventions and consumption to achieve self-sufficiency.
The minister gave the assurance on Monday in Abuja at the opening of the 22nd edition of the Nigeria Economic Summit (NES 22), while assuring that Government has started to partner relevant stakeholders to raise the consciousness of Nigerians on the need to leverage science and technology for national development.
Onu said that the difference between downturns in the past and the present recession is that after going through the pains from fall in oil, Nigerians usually get back quickly to full dependency as soon as the prices go up again. He however noted that this administration will not go the usual path, as plans are already in place towards the achievement of a sustainable, inclusive and competitive recovery from the present economic challenges.
Onu also disclosed that the Ministry intends to hold a technology and innovation expo yearly that will help support the made in Nigeria initiative using science and technology as a driving force.
President Muhammadu Buhari who declared the summit open called on participants to ensure that they reach conclusions and come up with resolutions that will support government’s effort to diversify the economy in the face of challenges posed by dwindling global oil prices.
Also speaking at the summit, the Minister of Budget and National Planning Senator Udoma Udo Udoma maintained that even after getting out of the present recession, the Government will continue with the strategic Implementation Plan (SIP), which was launched at the time of the 2016 budget and signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that the plan will restructure the economy onto the path of sustainable growth.
“As you know the SIP is anchored on the commitment of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to create a more diversified, sustainable and inclusive economy that releases the latent potential of the Nigerian people, communities and natural resource endowments across the federating states. The strategies for achieving these are set out in the SIP. These cut across six thematic areas one of these thematic areas is to diversify the economy by tracking industrialisation, Agriculture and Agro-Allied processing as well as attracting solid minerals tourism and entertainment sectors. An important mechanism for doing this is by encouraging a ‘Made in Nigeria’ philosophy and preference to take root in all our practices he concluded.
The theme for this year’s summit is ‘Made In Nigeria’ with organisers and participants looking to come up with strategies that will spur economic growth through heightened patronage of made in Nigeria goods and services. It will focus on key strategic elements required to drive global competitiveness and sustenance for Made-in-Nigeria products and services and strengthen Nigeria’s economy via plenary sessions.